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Is The Baby Harley HD350 Project Still In The Cards?

By General Posts

by Sabrina Giacomini from

Only a few weeks ago, The Motor Company announced it would scale back production and scrap the ambitious “More Roads to Harley” expansion plan to replace it with a new, far more conservative strategy. One of the new strategy’s main focus is to reorganize the new models’ launch schedule and potentially ax some ongoing projects that don’t fit the company’s usual scope.

What that means is that models like the Pan America and the Bronx have been pushed back to 2021 while some, less-advanced projects have been indefinitely put on the backburner. The line was seemingly drawn at the upcoming, unnamed “high-performance custom model” that pretty much looks like a beefy XR1200 flat-tracker. All the other anticipated and/or patented models such as the café racer will likely have to wait—if they come at all.

There’s one model we weren’t sure about, however, and that’s Harley’s new tool of seduction for the Asian market—the HD350 Project. Considering H-D teamed up with Chinese giant Qianjiang to develop the small-displacement bike, it was easy to assume that production would move forward as planned but we had yet to see any proof of it. Now, there apparently is, and here’s what we know.

Our colleagues at Cycle World were first to report on the story, quoting “leaked Chinese documents” as their source of information. According to them, said leaked documents detail an all-new 353cc motorcycle, the QJ350-13. Who is QJ? It’s Qianjiang’s recently-launched brand of high-end-ish motorcycles based on Benelli’s designs. You see where this is going.

The QJ350-13 is expected to be the elevated version of the soon-to-be-updated Benelli 302S—the very bike the HD350 should be based on. According to Cycle World, the documents suggest that both the QJ350 and the 302S—supposedly renamed 352S—will use a new 353cc parallel-twin engine rated at 36 horsepower. This could mean that the new mill will also underline the HD350, a confirmation that the bike will be a 350 and not a 338 as certain documents and sources suggested earlier in the development process.

This understandably revived the baby Harley storyline. The trail had gone cold since January, 2020. At the time, a leaked Benelli launch timeline scheduled the “HD338” to launch in June. With July just around the corner, we can safely assume that the timeline has changed, what with the pandemic and Harley’s rocky state of affairs.

It’s hard to say whether these “leaked documents” are a factual marker of Harley’s intention to stick with its plan and slap its badge on the HD350. After all, Qianjiang and Benelli aren’t facing the same hurdles as Harley (as far as we know) so the two brands moving-ahead with a new 350 model doesn’t mean their American partner will follow (depending on the nature of the agreement, of course). That being said, a successful launch on the Asian market could result in a much-needed stimulus for the brand so maybe Harley will stick to its Asian offense plan after all.

With the QJ350-13’s designs recently patented, we should probably keep an eye out for a little Black and Orange bike.

This Harley-Davidson That Fits Inside a Car Is Perfect for a Batman Villain

By General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from

Why choose between riding a Hog or driving a classic (-looking) car when you can actually do both? Add looking like a retro Batman villain, and this might just be an offer you could not refuse.

If only it were still on the table.

In December 2010, the 1939 Lincoln Sedan Delivery Deco Liner and Harley Davidson Sportster Deco Scoot (this is the official name and what a mouthful it is!) was sold at a Bonhams auction to the Louwman Museum, The Hague, Netherlands. The Louwman is one of the top automotive museums in Europe, home to some of the rarest and weirdest items ever made.

It fits right in.

Completed in June 2008, it is the work of artist Frank Nicholas and Terry Cook of New Jersey-based Deco Rides. The Deco Liner project represents the culmination of 3 years of hard work for the team. It’s a one-off custom 1939 Lincoln Zephyr built from scratch into a delivery sedan, with a matching, modified Harley-Davidson Sportster in the back.

Not only is the Harley-Davidson removable and fully-working, but when stored inside the car, it becomes an integral part of it. The Deco Liner project isn’t about functionality, with the bright purple paint job and ornate bodywork on both vehicles being the biggest giveway. Deco Rides describes it as a way of presenting “two new concepts to the rodding world:” the “concept of the bike in the car” (duh) and the decorative metal trim, inspired by mid-30s Paris coach cars.

No one would hold it against you if you thought it was inspired by retro Batman villain cars, though. It would make the perfect 2-in-1 getaway vehicle for one such baddie, too.

Bonhams describes it a “virtual Fabergé egg on wheels,” which seems to make light of the amount of work that went into building this thing, but is surprisingly accurate. It’s made up of the Deco Liner and the Deco Scoot, with both receiving countless modifications and fully-handcrafted aluminum bodies that earn them the status of works of sculpture.

The Deco Scoot is a custom 1991 Harley-Davidson Sportster chosen for its height, and then lowered and modified, after the Deco Liner was built by chopping the top off and creating the elongated body. The bike can be loaded into the car by means of a nine-foot long aluminum ramp that is deployed and retracted at the touch of a button. When not in use, the ramp is tucked away inside the car, so it’s not visible.

Once in position, the bike is secured by straps and becomes a part of the car interior – the front fender of the bike comes in between the Viper bucket seats and serves as an armrest. So you’d better make sure you don’t get it all muddied up.

The Deco Liner is a Frankenstein of a car made to resemble the 1939 Lincoln Zephyr. Nicholas and Cook used a 1995 Chevrolet Blazer for the front chassis and then built the rear chassis from scratch to fit and carry the bike, discarding the rest of the Blazer. A General Motors Goodwrench 350 cubic inch V8 crate engine was fitted instead of the original V6 in the Blazer.

The front-wheel-drive Deco Liner comes with power windows, power brakes and power steering (though no one is using any as of the time of writing, being on display at the museum), custom black and silver interior, and a 1960-62 Chrysler “goldfish bowl” instrument cluster.

Before being sold off to the Louwman Museum for $117,000 in 2010, the Deco Liner and Deco Scoot were paraded throughout the U.S., causing quite a sensation at the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota, the Laconia Motorcycle Week in New Hampshire, the Goodguys Rod & Custom event in Columbus, Ohio, and the Detroit Autorama, among others. It is now on display with the original lettering on the side of the delivery removed.